In June 2010, I lead an educational mission to Rivesaltes, France. The Rivesaltes memorial will be one of Europe's largest Holocaust memorials. The museum also focuses on the suffering and internment of Spaniards, Algerians, and Sinti and Roma at Rivesaltes. The memorial is astonishing and consists of the only traces of the some 200 internment camps that operated in France prior to and during World War II. This important project has been the subject of profiles in The New York Times and Washington Post.
The trip was the culmination of our work on the exhibition Faces Behind Barbed Wire: The Rivesaltes Internment Camp Memorial which ran from March 21, 2010 - May 6, 2010, at the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The exhibition featured contributions by Dr. Denis Peschanski of the CNRS in Paris, Academy Award-winning screen writer Frederic Raphael, Marianne Petit and the Musée Mémorial du Camp de Rivesaltes, Fonds August Bohny, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, filmmaker Jorge Amat, and Professor Alejandro Baer, Director of the Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota.
The show was funded by several key contributors including the French Consulate in Chicago, the CNRS in Paris, New York University, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis University, and Captions Inc. in Los Angeles among other institutions.
My D'var Torah on the subject was first featured in the St. Louis Jewish Light and then later re-published this past year in the Union For Reform Judaism's 10 Minutes of Torah blog. You can read all about it here: http://blogs.rj.org/blog/2012/08/10/give-me-your-tired-your-poor-your-huddled-masses/